Sonny's Latest CD Release:
Sample track from the CD:
Comments From Sonny Fans:
"I just want to say something publicly...Just received a CD from Sonny LaRosa. That is some of the most beautiful trumpet playing I have ever heard, and I have heard a lot. Kudos to Sonny. Wow!!!"
Glenn Zottola, trumpet and saxophone jazz legend
Post from his facebook page on Sept. 17, 2013
"Sonny, my man, I just listened to your "Haunting Sound" album. You sound sooo beautiful, sound and phrasing; everything - a pleasure to hear! This is an example of how to play a melody and improvise OFF the melody - masterful! - you are a living treasure - you should be given the Medal of Freedom for the work you have done with young people!"
Dave Liebman, Saxophonist - Recipient of America's Highest Jazz Award: The National Endowment of The Arts "Master of Jazz" 2011
Letter from Sonny about the CD release:
For the past 30 years, I dedicated most of my time to "Sonny LaRosa and America's Youngest Jazz Band," keeping the art form of Big Band and Swing and Jazz alive with kids ages 6 to 13. It has been an amazingly successful venture, however I felt I was neglecting the real love of my life: My Trumpet. Thus, the reason for this album.
As a young man, I listened continually to great Pop and Jazz vocalists and tried to emulate their conception, especially on a pretty ballad. I knew that the first and most important element was sound, so I spent years attempting to establish a "Fat Dark Tone" and to memorize the lyrics to every song, then pour that with style into my horn.
My son, Mark, a guitarist and composer in New York, sympathized with my desire to play more often, and suggested that I keep in shape by joining pre-recorded musical backgrounds. His next suggestion was to record, so he recommended "Pro Tools," a truly professional device that would be used in conjunction with my computer. The idea frightened me to death, since the computer and I were never close friends. It took months, and I finally got the basics but had to pass on some of the goodies like being able to block out and replace any mishap or performance mistake. That is why all of these tuned were done with one take. This can be considered far below major recording studio procedure, but the one plus it had for me is the tranquility of it all. I recorded at my own leisure, and since they were all Torch songs, I could do it when I was in a melancholy mood, or whenever I felt was the right time.
The next and last portion of the album is dedicated to all my trumpet students. The Arban trumpet method contained "Keel Row," a short melody with several technical variations that I suggested my students use for any audition. As a student, I was always fond of playing duets with my teachers Willliam Vacchiano and Bert Pennino, so I passed it on. I am playing both parts on this duet demo.
Now comes the time for thanks. First, I must thank God for blessing me with the ability to play at all at the age of 82. Thank you Nat Hentoff for your wonderful compliment that gave me the confidence to continue. Heartfel thanks to the musicians and personal friends who cared: Julee Goodman, Mat and Rachel Domber, Terry McClurg, Lane DeGregory, Eric Darius, Paul O'Connor, Bobby Tricarico, Rick Gee, Phillip Booth, Dan and Monique Bradbury, Teddy and Fred Burdick, Blair and Jo Moore, Betty Lou Lewis, Gene Morvay, Dennis Manders, Matty Bonelli, Marci Lee, Chris Halpain, Art Stone, Mike Elias, Aaron Fodiman, Joe Kobus, Rick Smith, Ashley and Brooke Talbot, Rosalie Soladar, John and Cathy Sanford, Frank Malfitano, Ron Odrich, Dave Stewart, and my sisters Terry, Ronnie, and Carol.
My deepest thanks and sympathy goes out to my family for all the years of listening to me practice and complaining about my incapabilities. My wife of 60 years, Elaine, my son Mark, my daughter-in-law Lorraine, my daughter Laura-Lee, my grandchildren Jackson and his wife Cat and Taylor and my recent great-grandchild Alice.
In closing, something I could never forget was a musician's remark during an interview of local trumpet players. When my name was mentioned, he said negatively, "Aw! Sonny makes people cry when he plays." I often wondered if he knew that that was the best compliment I ever received. If I possibly get across an emotional feeling to anyone on any tune on this album, then......Mission Accomplished!